The Paper Cranes Project is an initiative aimed at processing suffering, grief and loss in healthcare settings through the use of mindful origami.

Bearing witness to death is an inherent part of caring for sick patients. All too often, physicians, nurses, medical students and hospital staff have little time or space to acknowledge these losses. As a result, many of us condition ourselves to bury or compartmentalize these emotions and move on – there is always more work to be done and we cannot afford to grieve. Although in the moment, this may seem like an act of self-preservation, it is also a denial of our own humanity as well as that of the patient.

The idea of The Paper Cranes Project is simple – to use the act of folding a paper crane as an opportunity to reflect, to channel grief into a tangible product, and to honor and acknowledge the loss of a patient, but also to let it go in a way that feels human.